While many are celebrating the guilty verdict in the case of George Floyd, its only a small victory for a country that continues to remain divided, with another person of color losing their life at the hands of an officer only hours after the decision went public to convict Derek Chauvin, it seems like the real work is only just beginning. Keen to keep people educated and informed, the Las Vegas Raiders were called out on social media by people who felt their recent tweet following the guilty verdict was tone deaf and in poor taste.
Mark Davis, owner of the Las Vegas Raiders tweeted “I can breathe” on Tuesday April 20th following the news of the conviction. The post immediately called back to the passing of New Yorker Eric Garner who famously uttered the words “I CAN’T breathe” before losing his life while in custody.
The tweet struck an even deeper nerve because following Garner’s passing several New York City officers wore shirts saying “I can breathe” in support of the officer accused of taking his life.
2ND HAND EMBARRASSMENT: Las Vegas Raiders tweet about Derek Chauvin trial for the murder of George Floyd. They said “I CAN BREATHE.” pic.twitter.com/yWNvLFwCMK— Def Noodles (@defnoodles) April 21, 2021
Davis immediately took responsibility for the tweet saying it was inspired by a tweet from Floyd’s brother Philonis Floyd saying “Today, we are able to breathe again because justice for George means freedom for all.” He was immediately called out by twitter followers and educated on why the tweet read offensive. Worried that anyone else in his camp would be harassed Davis quickly responded “That’s my tweet. That was me. I don’t want anyone in the organization taking heat. I take full responsibility for that.”
LeBron James was one of the first celebrities to speak out after being outraged by the tweet.
This is real???? Nah man this ain’t it at all. The F^%K!!!! 🤦🏾♂️ https://t.co/f44D7OQWfo— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 21, 2021
Sports journalist Tashan Reed spoke with Davis and explained their conversation in a series of tweets. “Davis said he wasn’t aware that NYPD supporters wore “I Can Breathe” shirts following the 2014 killing of Eric Garner. After I brought that up to him he said, “I learned something… I have to do a little bit more research into that just so I can speak coherently on that aspect.”
Davis said he wasn’t aware that NYPD supporters wore “I Can Breathe” shirts following the 2014 killing of Eric Garner. After I brought that up to him he said, “I learned something… I have to do a little bit more research into that just so I can speak coherently on that aspect.”— Tashan Reed (@tashanreed) April 21, 2021
He said Davis followed up with “I wasn’t watching the talking heads; I was listening to the family. And I was trying to take my lead from them. But if that’s (the “I Can Breath” t-shirts) are what the cops are wearing then, really, it is a bad statement.”
TMZ recently spoke with Floyd’s brother, Philonise, who had a different view on the tweet, suggesting he was not offended nor does he believe the coach intended for the tweet to be negative. Philonise actually agrees with the tweet suggesting after nearly one year we can all finally breathe.